Jacksonville Remains – Rockville, Florida Day 2

By on May 7, 2013

Steel Panther Band, left to right:  Ralph Saenz (aka Michael Star), Travis Haley (aka Lexxi Foxxx) and Russ Parrish (aka Satchel)                                                            (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jacksonville, Fla.–Day two of Monster Energy’s Welcome to Rockville brought more of a variety of different styles and sounds to Metropolitan Park. As Saturday brought more of a formulaic approach to the bands and the songs that were performed, Sunday’s lineup was somewhat different.  With Non-Point, Hollywood Undead and 80’s and 90’s retro hair super-group Steel Panther taking the Monster Energy Main stages along with Shinedown, Saliva, Filter and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sunday’s lineup proved to have something for everyone. The JaxLive and Rockville side stages were also filled with quality acts that put on fantastic performances.

Device headlined the Rockville side stage to a huge crowd that came over from the main stages and performed their hits from their new self-titled release.  Device opened with “Penance,” then moved to “You Think You Know,” “Haze” and closed with the single “Villify.”  “Villify” has been getting a ton of spins on SiriusXM’s Octane channel and rock stations across the country. Also included in Device’s set was their cover of Ozzy and Lita Ford’s “Close My Eyes Forever” in which vocalist David Draiman handled both Ozzy’s and Lita’s parts surprisingly well.

David Draiman & Virus of Device headlined the side stage (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Before Device took the stage, Nothing More, an amazing new band from Texas, performed on the JaxLive side stage. There was about thirty people watching Nothing More’s set from the beginning but once everyone started arriving to check out Device, more and more curious concert goers  began gathering around the JaxLive stage. Not only were the songs original but Nothing More’s  stage performance was energetic and left you walking away saying, “I’ve never seen that before,” and “what is the name of that band?”  Nothing More ‘s frontman, Jonny Hawkins, (who also performs as a second drummer with the band) is definitely not your status quo, run of the mill vocalist. He performs with an intensity and a commitment to their music like you seldom see. Their stage performance incorporates a swinging base mechanism that is played not only by Hawkins but at the same time by bandmates, Mark Vollelunga (Guitars), Daniel Oliver (Bass) and Paul O’Brien (Drums).  Nothing More’s  setlist included “Fell in Love with a Ghost, “ “Gone,” and concluded with the crowd favorite, and mine, “Salem.”  If you are looking for something new, fresh and not regurgitated, pick up Nothing More’s  album, The Few Not Fleeting.  Or even better, if come to your town, go see this band; you won’t be disappointed.

Jonny Hawkins of Nothing More (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jonny Hawkins, Mark Vollelunga (Guitars), Daniel Oliver (Bass) of Nothing More (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Motionless in White and Airbourne were also standouts on the side stages.  These two bands are up and comers and are now being played in regular rotation on Octane. Their nonstop energy and quality performances will propel these acts to the main stages sooner than later.

Back on the Monster Energy East and West Stages to start the day of were Red and Non-Point. Red played a shorter set which included their two hits, “Perfect Life” and “Breath.”

Non-Point played “Lights, Camera, Action “and “Left For You” off their new self-titled album and classic favorites like “What A Day” & “Bullet with a Name.”  Front-man Elias Soriano commands the crowd with his bigger-than-life stage presence, guitarists Dave Lizzio and Rasheed Thomas, bassist Adam Woloszyn, and drummer Robb Rivera round out the high-energy band that encompasses their brand of heavy metal.  I’ve seen this band once before and they have grown leaps and bounds since then and the mainstream hard rock fans are more receptive and into their sound these days.

Elias Soriano, Non-Point  (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Rasheed Thomas, Non-Point  (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

One of the big surprises for me on this Sunday was the performance by Saliva. I had never seen Saliva perform live, but I am familiar with their material.  Saliva has opened in the past for such iconic bands as Kiss and Aerosmith, and that experience showed in their live performance.  New vocalist, and Jacksonville’s own, Bobby Amaru, had the crowd in his hands from the start. Saliva played songs off their seven albums including hits “Click, Click, Boom,” “Your Disease,” and of course, the anthem “Ladies and Gentleman.”  Saliva proved that even though they have replaced their vocalist and voice of the band in Josey Scott, they are here to stay. I look forward to hearing Saliva’s new music that they are planning to work on after their summer tour.  This band was the surprise of the day.

CLICK, CLICK, BOOM – Bobby Amaru, Saliva (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

What the hell is a Steel Panther?  A parody band from L.A. with big hair and lifestyles reminiscent of the 80’s glam metal scene, that’s what!  Starting with the name Metal Skool and playing shows at the Viper Room in the early 2000’s, they started attracting a local fan base.  They changed their name to Steel Panther in 2008 and began to play more shows in L.A. and in Vegas baby.  Ralph Saenz (aka Michael Star) the vocalist, Drummer Darren Leader (aka Stix Zadinia), bassis Travis Haley (aka Lexxi Foxxx), and guitarist, Russ Parrish, (aka Satchel), are all established musicians.  Specifically Ralph Saenz who had a stint in L.A. Guns and was in the Van Halen cover band Atomic Punk. He also   appeared in the movie, Rock Star. The most accomplished and well known musician in the group is guitarist Russ Parrish (“Satchel”).  He is known for his work with Rob Halford’s Fight and as an instructor at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood.  It’s amazing that the guitar player that created one of the most respected metal albums ever in Fight’s “War of Words,” is in this band but he plays the part perfectly.

Russ Parrish AKA Satchel Steel Panther (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

These guys don’t hold anything back and it has paid off for them as they were invited by Def Leppard to join them and Mötley Crüe on the Mirrorball Tour and they opened for Guns N’ Roses at the Forum in Los Angeles on December 21, 2011.

The crowd enjoyed what they were watching, especially the women, as they were willing to flash the band on command like the days of old. Song titles like “Asian Hooker,” “Just Like Tiger Woods,” and “17 Girls in a Row,” brought a style and comedic flair to the lineup that wasn’t there on Saturday or Sunday by any other bands. If you see these guys playing in your town, check em out. You’ll have a great time.

The once underground and unknown, Hollywood Undead were next.  Hollywood Undead is known for their vocal interplay within the songs, usually having 2, 3, and sometimes 4 rappers in a single song, while one member sings the choruses.

Danny,  Hollywood Undead  (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Da Kurtz, Hollywood Undead (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jdog, Hollywood Undead  (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

 

Touring off the hit filled release American Tragedy, the packed crowd waited all day for this rock-rap group and was the highlight of Sunday’s lineup. Wearing their own individual trademark masks at the beginning of their set, the band set off a fever pitch in the crowd opening with “Undead” and it continued as they performed “Coming In Hot.”  Hollywood Undead wrapped up with “We Are,” and from the looks of things, the band left the stage with the crowd wanting more. Personally, I can’t wait to see this band in a club or another venue where they can play a longer set.  If you were a fan of the band Crazy Town and don’t have American Tragedy, go get it. You will love it.

Buckcherry, who is known predominantly for their 2006 single “Crazy Bitch” and their front-man, Josh Todd, came out and put on a strong performance  (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Josh Todd’s vocal equipment dropped out of the mix and Todd left the stage for a few minutes but once the audio was fixed, Todd returned to finish the set. Highlights from their set were “Lit Up,” ”Rescue Me,” and of course, “Crazy Bitch.”

Brent Smith & Zack Myers, Shinedown  (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jacksonville’s very own Barry Kerch, along with the vocalist Brent Smith and the rest of the guys in Shinedown started their set as the sun was going down on the Rockville weekend.  Their most recent single “Enemies” was first to be played with a back to back hard rock combination in “Devour,”  the anti-war song from their multi- platinum release Sound of Madness. Shinedown has had many hits over the last ten years and played them throughout.   “45” and “Diamond Eyes” were played along with the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic, “Simple Man,” which came as a huge surprise seeing that Skynyrd was closing out the event.

There weren’t many surprises to Shinedown’s set other than Barry Kerch bringing his wife Lena and their daughter Stella onstage to introduce them to their home crowd. Shinedown never fails to impress and vocalist Brent Smith is one of the best in the business and their fans are always looking forward to their next release and seeing them again.  (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Zack Myers, Shinedown (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

On the drums, Barry Kerch, Shinedown  (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

To conclude Rockville’s takeover of Jacksonville was veteran southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Lynyrd Skynyrd played a 16 song set of their classic material which included, “Give Me Three Steps”, “That Smell”, “Saturday Night Special” and my personal favorite from the group “Tuesdays Gone.”  The crowd was surprised that they played “Simple Man,” seeing that Shinedown just played it not more than 40 minutes earlier. I have never seen or heard this done before and found it to be odd that these two bands didn’t discuss this beforehand. “Sweet Home Alabama” got everyone singing and of course they finished out the night with the all time classic, “Freebird.”  There has been talk that this might the last time to see Lynyrd Skynyrd play live, and if you were there, you witnessed an unforgettable performance by an all-time great band.

The transformation of Jacksonville to Rockville and back was complete. It was an incredible weekend filled with some of the heaviest hitters in the hard rock/ heavy metal genre, along with some of the newer bands who are ready to continue on their roads to greater success.

(Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

I can’t say enough about the job that the security team did. They always looked out for the safety of the fans and band members, which was a very difficult task. They also were assisting the disabled who were attending the event close to the stage.

As for the fans, I’ve never witnessed more crowd-surfing at a show and the overall family/community aspect that comes with this music shone brightly once again (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

With the fan turnout and the success of this year’s Welcome To Rockville, we can only predict that Jacksonville will be transformed into Rockville once again in 2014   (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Filter Guitarist Phil Buckman  (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

Filter singer, Richard Patrick  (Photo by Travis Failey / RSEN)

http://www.welcometorockvillefestival.com/

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